Adamawa Language Groups

(Ulrich Kleinewillinghöfer; revised 2014)


Language groups labelled as 'Adamawa' are:    (alternative names in brackets)  [spoken in]

 

Tula-Waja (Waja)      [Nigeria]

Bikwin-Jen  (Burak, Jen)      [Nigeria]

Kam (Nyiŋɔm, Nyingwom)     [Nigeria]

Longuda  (Nʋngʋra Cluster)     [Nigeria]

Baa  (Kwa)     [Nigeria]

Mumuye     [Nigeria]

Yandang  (Yendang)    [Nigeria]

Samba-Duru  (Chamba-Leko, Leko, Duru, Sama-Duru, Samba Leeko)   [Cameroon, Nigeria]

Ɓəna-Mboi  (Yungur)    [Nigeria]

Kebi-Benue (Mbum)     [Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic]

Kim     [Chad]

Day     [Chad]

Bua     [Chad]

 

Nimbari (Baari, Bari)  (extinct)  [Cameroon]

Duli - Gewe (Gey, Gueve)  (extinct)   [Cameroon]

 

Fali        [Cameroon]

Chamba-Daka  (Daka)    [Nigeria]

 

Comments

Fali, a cluster of closely related languages, was included as Group 11 to the Adamawa Branch of Adamawa-Ubangi in the classification of Greenberg 1963. Its membership within Adamawa is, however, contested (see  for example Boyd 1989: 180). Blench 2012 classifies Fali as a separate branch of Niger-Congo.

Chamba-Daka is classified within Adamawa in Greenberg 1963. Later classifications (Bennett 1983, Boyd 1989, Williamson & Blench) do not list Chamba-Daka (or Daka) under Adamawa but rather under Benue Congo. Boyd (2004:195) revises his position on Chamba-Daka and regards Chamba-Daka to be rather a "peripheral Adamawa language".

La'bi (also Laɓi, Labbi) listed in the Ethnologue as a separate group of Adamawa is but a language of initiation rites practised by several neighbouring groups, including some groups speaking Kebi-Benue languages (see Elders 2006:79-80). Periquet 1915 comments on the use and spread of 'Labbi' and presents a word list.

 

References

Baudelaire, H. 1944. La numération de 1 à 10 dans les dialects Habé de Garoua, Guider, Poli et Rey Bouba. Bulletin de la Société d'Etudes camerounaises 5: 23-30.

Bennett, Patrick R. 1983. Adamawa-Eastern: Problems and prospects. In: Dihoff, Ivan R. (ed). Current Approaches to African Linguistics 2: 23-48. Dordrecht: Foris Publications.

Blench, Roger 2004. The Adamawa Languages. http://www.rogerblench.info/Language/Niger-Congo/Adamawa/Adamawa%20language%20list.pdf.

Blench, Roger. 2012. Niger-Congo: an alternative view. http://www.rogerblench.info/Language/Niger-Congo/General/NCgenOP.htm

Boyd, Raymond. 1989. Adamawa-Ubangi. - in: Bendor-Samuel, John. (ed.) The Niger-Congo languages. Lanham - New York - London: Summer Institute of Linguistics; 178-215.

Boyd, Raymond. 2004. The syntax and semantics of the Chamba-Daka verbal noun. Afrika & Übersee 87: 193-288

Elders, Stefan. 2006. Issues in comparative Kebi-Benue (Adamawa). Africana Linguistica, 12: 37-88.

Ethnologue 17th edition see Lewis et al. 2013

Greenberg, Joseph H. 1963. The languages of Africa. Den Haag: Mouton.

Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 1996. Die nordwestlichen Adamawa-Sprachen - Eine Übersicht. In: Seibert, Uwe (ed). Afrikanische Sprachen zwischen Gestern und Morgen. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter, 8: 80-103.

Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. "Adamawa". Ms.

Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2013. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Seventeenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com.

Periquet, Louis. 1915. Rapport général sur la mission de délimitation Afrique Équatoriale Française-Cameroun (1912-1913-1914). Tome III, Vocabulaires. Paris: Ministère de colonies.

Samarin, William J. 1971. Adamawa Eastern. In: Sebeok, Th. A. (Ed.). Linguistics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Current Trends in Linguistics 7: 213-244. The Hague: Mouton.

Williamson, Kay & Roger Blench. 2000. Niger-Congo. In: Heine, Bernd & Derek Nurse (eds). African Languages. An Introduction. Cambridge Unversity Press; 11-42.